A Streetcar Named Desire

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meli77
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#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
Hey guys,

Can anyone share some A/A* tips for ASCND essays please?

Would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks,
Irini
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bhavreads
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#2
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#2
make sure you know the play inside out - this doesn't mean you have to know the quotes off by heart, but familiarise yourself with the play what happens, symbolism, analysis - that way no matter what the question ends up being you have some ideas you can work with
when writing an essay, planning is key! our teacher taught my class how to write essays by telling us to just come up with three points that have an overarching argument - e.g. if your question is on romantic relationships, your three points could be on the relationship between stella and stanley, blanche and allen, blanche and mitch --> the overarching point could be that Williams presents all of these romantic relationships as inherently unhealthy as they are not based on reality (blanche and allen being the illusion of a loving couple while its only for social status, blanche and mitch with the illusion of a fairy tale romance, stella and stanley with the illusion of a healthy relationship/the american dream) - I usually find this structure helps me get my analysis in while making sure I don't go too much off track!
Another small tip is just watch your timings in the exam - the minutes can slip away from you quicker than you think!

Hopefully this helps - what exam board is it for?
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meli77
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#3
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by bhavreads)
make sure you know the play inside out - this doesn't mean you have to know the quotes off by heart, but familiarise yourself with the play what happens, symbolism, analysis - that way no matter what the question ends up being you have some ideas you can work with
when writing an essay, planning is key! our teacher taught my class how to write essays by telling us to just come up with three points that have an overarching argument - e.g. if your question is on romantic relationships, your three points could be on the relationship between stella and stanley, blanche and allen, blanche and mitch --> the overarching point could be that Williams presents all of these romantic relationships as inherently unhealthy as they are not based on reality (blanche and allen being the illusion of a loving couple while its only for social status, blanche and mitch with the illusion of a fairy tale romance, stella and stanley with the illusion of a healthy relationship/the american dream) - I usually find this structure helps me get my analysis in while making sure I don't go too much off track!
Another small tip is just watch your timings in the exam - the minutes can slip away from you quicker than you think!

Hopefully this helps - what exam board is it for?
Hi! This was great, thanks!
I do Edexcel.
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bhavreads
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#4
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#4
oh nice! I do the same exam board - best of luck to you for revision!
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meli77
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#5
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#5
(Original post by bhavreads)
oh nice! I do the same exam board - best of luck to you for revision!
You too!
Would you be able to read my introduction for a question and let me know what you think?
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bhavreads
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Yes sure!
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meli77
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#7
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#7
How is Love presented in ASCND?

In William’s domestic drama A Streetcar Named Desire, he explores the theme of love through its complex protagonists, Blanche, Stanley and Stella. Love is an intense feeling of affection which has many strands such as erotic, forbidden, and familial love as well as love for a precise thing i.e. Blanche’s love to reconnect with her youth which are exploded in the play. Though this does raise questions about whether there is no love but purely desire and obsession in the play seen by Stella and Stanley’s marriage for instance; even if that is the case the bond between them perseveres showing that perhaps their relationship is still dominated by pure love despite the obsession and desire they have for each other. Perhaps Williams’ intention was to make the 1940s audience question what love truly is; divert them from the true and conservative meaning accustomed by a 1940s audience when women were courted by men and when sexual love was condemned and propel them to dissect other forms of permissive love, something he had experience with such as his repressed homosexuality which would have made him make the audience perceive love in a more lenient and unprejudiced manner. Hence, this essay will argue that there is a strong sense of pure love in the play - irrespective of the few instances when this said love can be brought into question - wherein it acts as a tragic flaw in the lives of the characters as it leads to a hopeless downfall.
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bhavreads
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#8
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#8
This is a really interesting intro - although at first it did read as more of a conclusion!
One thing I'd keep in mind is that in the exam you don't always necessarily need an overcomplicated intro in A*/A essays - would you be able to write and maintain this quality across the whole essay?
Also I'm not sure whether this is a thing but my teacher told us that edexcel wanted us to move away from more autobiographical context (e.g. williams' sexuality) - so maybe explore other context as well (although I can see it when you reference the audience!)
Your line of argument is really good and strong - but I feel that some of the sentences could fit better in the conclusion or in other parts of the essay, like when you say
"Perhaps Williams’ intention was to make the 1940s audience question what love truly is; divert them from the true and conservative meaning accustomed by a 1940s audience when women were courted by men and when sexual love was condemned and propel them to dissect other forms of permissive love, something he had experience with such as his repressed homosexuality which would have made him make the audience perceive love in a more lenient and unprejudiced manner."
It is a bit hard to make judgements just based on the intro, but if the quality is maintained throughout the essay and you cover the main points you outline, I'd say you're getting set up for a good level 4!
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meli77
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#9
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#9
Thank you so much for your feedback!
I totally agree with you. But my teacher persists in us writing overcomplicated and thought-provoking intros which is super annoying. Plus the bit you highlighted, our teacher also tells us to write about the message that Williams is trying to convey, hence why I wrote that.
I am glad that you like my argument. Hopefully, I do get a level 4, though unlikely lol.
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